Tech

Global chip shortages are now affecting DDR5 production.

In short: If you are currently running a quality DDR4-3200 memory kit, upgrading to DDR5 for the next update will not result in a significant performance boost despite its significantly higher price tag. Not only that, it will be difficult to find DDR5 modules in stock in the coming months, as manufacturers will not be able to get some of the critical components needed to manufacture them.

Early adopters of Intel’s Alder Lake platform will have to choose between DDR4 and DDR5 when purchasing an LGA 1700 motherboard, but there are two things that make this choice easier than you might think. As noted in our reviews, whether you want to use a Core i5-12600K, Core i7-12700KF, or Core i9-12900K, switching to DDD5 instead of DDR4 will not bring you a significant performance boost for most tasks, especially when you take the overhead into account. to the price you have to pay for new memory modules.

Interestingly, even if you’re willing to pay a hefty price for a DDR5 memory kit, chances are you won’t be able to find one in stock no matter how you look at it. This is somewhat to be expected when it comes to new equipment, especially in the context of ongoing lack of chips this made it nearly impossible for companies to meet the growing demand for a variety of consumer electronics.

According to report from 12chip electronic components supplier, the shortage of DDR5 memory modules is not related to the shortage of DDR5 microcircuits. This is partly due to the fact that DDR5 chips are manufactured using an older 14nm process, and DRAM vendors have not reported any problems in meeting demand.

The problem is that unlike DDR4, DDR5 modules contain a power management integrated circuit (PMIC) that was previously part of the motherboard. The PMIC required for DDR5 is not only much more expensive than the one used for DDR4, but it is also in short supply, with procurement times now estimated to be 35 weeks.

Earlier this year, some analysts predicted that DDR5 will overtake DDR4 in market share by 2023, but that seems unlikely given the current supply chain problems. On the other hand, the shortage of microcircuits has unexpectedly pushed smaller microcircuit manufacturers, which made it easier for them to invest in expanding their manufacturing capacity. At least in theory, they should be able to improve the availability of PMICs and other critical components in the coming years.


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